The spoyle of Antwerpe. Faithfully reported, by a true Englishman, who was present at the same. Nouem. 1576. Seene and allowed
Gascoigne, George, 1542?-1577.
Page  [unnumbered]Page  [unnumbered]

The Spoyle of Antwerpe. Faithfully reported, by a true English∣man, who was pre∣sent at the same. Nouem. 1576.

Seene and allowed.

Printed at London by Richard Iones.

Page  [unnumbered]Page  [unnumbered]

❧ Faultes escaped, to be considered of the Readers: and to be amended, as followeth.

  • In. A. the third leafe, the second syde, and last lyne for, Fuora villiauo: reade, Fuora villiacco.
  • In. A. 4. leafe. 2. syde, and. 7. lyne: for, take Caues: reade▪ take Armes.
  • In. A. 6. leafe, the first side, and 20. lyne: for, West or Southwest: reade, East or Southeast.
  • In. B. the first leafe, and first syde, the 22. lyne: for, west syde: reade, east syde. And in the same leafe, the. 2. side, and. 7. lyne: for, Southwest syde: reade, Southeast syde. And in the. 15. lyne: for, East syde: reade, West syde.
  • In. B. 4. leafe. 2. syde. 9. lyne. for aeste vil∣le: reade, ceste ville. And in the. 13. lyne, for Trumpete: reade, Trumpetter. And in the. 17. lyne: for Cauaille: reade, Ca∣naille.
  • In. C. 1. leafe. 2. syde. 1. lyne: for fléeing: reade, flaying.
Page  [unnumbered]

To the Reader.

I Shall earnestlye require thee (gentle Reader) to correct the errors passed and escaped in printing of this Pamphlet, according to this table. And furthermore, to vnderstande that this victorye was obtey∣ned with losse but of fyue hundreth Spanierds, or sixe at the moste: of whome I hearde no man of name re∣coumpted, sauing onely, Dom Emanuell. Thus muche Page  [unnumbered] (for haste) I had forgotten in the treatye, and therefore thought meete to place it here in the beginning: and there∣withall to aduertise thee, that these outrages and disordered cruelties done to our nation, proceeded but from the cōmon Souldiers: neither was there any of the twelue which en∣tred the englishe house, a man of any charge or reputacion. So that I hope (these extre∣myties notwithstanding) the king, their Maister, will take Page  [unnumbered] such good order for redresse thereof, as our countrymen in the end, shall rest satisfyed with reason, and the amytye betweene our moste gracious Soueraigne and him, shal re∣main also firme & vnuiolate: the which I pray God speede∣ly to graunt for the benefyt of this Realme.


¶ Note in the Modell: that the trowpe of Almaynes by the ryuers side, should be footemen. And also that the trowpe next the windemyl should be horsemen.

Page  [unnumbered]

¶ THE SPOYLE of Antwerpe.

SInce my hap was to bee present at so pit∣teous a spectakle, as the sackyng and spoyle of Antwerpe, (a lamentable example whiche hath alredy filled all Europe with dreadfull newes of great cala∣mitie) I haue thought good for the benefit of my countrie, to publish a true report thereof. The which may aswell serue for profitable example vnto all estates of sutche condicion as suffred in the same: as also, an∣swer all honest expectations with a meane truthe, set downe beetween thextreme surmises of sundry doubt full mindes: And encreased by the manyfolde light tales whiche haue been engendred by feareful or affec∣tionate rehersals. And therwithall, Page  [unnumbered] if the wickednesse vsed in the sayde towne, doo seeme vnto the well dis∣posed Reader, a sufficient cause of Gods so iust a scorge and Plague: and yet the furie of the vanquishers doo also seeme more barbarous and cruell, then may become a good chri∣stian conquerour: let these my few woords become a forewarnynge on bothe handes: and let them stande as a Lanterne of light beetween two perillous Rockes: That bothe amendyng the one, and detestynge the other, wee may gather fyre out of the Flint, and Hunny out of the Thystle. To that ende, all stories and Chronicles are written: and to that ende I presume to publishe this Pamphlet: protestyng that nei∣ther mallice to the one syde, nor par∣ciall affection to the other, shall make my pen to swarue any iote from truth of that which I will set town & saw executed: For if I were Page  [unnumbered] disposed to write maliciously agaynst the vanquishers: their former barba∣rous cruelty, insolences, Rapes, spoy∣les, Incests, and Sacriledges, com∣mitted in sundrie other places, might yeeld mee sufficiente matter without the lawful remembrance of this their late stratageme: or if I would vnder∣take to mooue a generall compassion, by blazynge abroade the miseries and callamities of the vanquished: theyr longe susteyned iniuries and yokes of vntollerable bondage: theyr con∣tinual broyles in warre: their doubt∣ful dreades in peace: theyr accusations without cause: and condempnations without proofe: might enable a dome stone to talke of their troubles, and fetche brinysh teares out of the most craggy rocke: to lament and bewayle the burning houses of so neare neigh∣bours. But as I sayd before, mine onely entent is to set downe a plaine truthe, for the satisfiynge of sutche as Page  [unnumbered] haue hetherto beene caried aboute with doubtfull reportes: and for a profitable example vnto all sutche as beeyng subiect to like imperfections, might fall thereby into the like cala∣mities.

And to make the matter more per∣spicuous, I must deriue the beegin∣nyng of this discourse a litle beeyonde the beeginnynge of the massacre: That the cause beyng partly opened, the effect may bee the more playnly seene.

It is then to bee vnderstoode that the sackyng & spoyle of ANTWERPE hath been (by all lykelyhoode) longe pretended by the Spanyerds: And that they haue done nothing els but lien in wayte continually to fynde any least quarrell to put ye same in execu∣tion. For proofe whereof, their nota∣ble rebellion and mewtinye beegun in the same, when theyr watche woorde was Fuora viliauo, might sufficiently Page  [unnumbered] beewray theyr mallicious and cruell intente. And though it were then smoothly colloured ouer, and subtilly appeased, by ye craftie deuisers of the same, yet the coles of their choller be∣ynge but raked vp in the Imbers of false semblance, haue now founde out the wicked windes of wilinesse & wrath: Whiche meetynge together haue kindled sutch a flame, as gaue open way to theyr detestable deuices. For th{us} estates of al the low countries beeyng ouerweried with the intolle∣rable burden of theyr tyrrannies: and hauynge taken armes to withstande their mallice and rebellyous Mewti∣nyes, the towne of Antwerpe (beeing left open and subiecte vnto the Cyta∣dell) did yet remayne quiet, and en∣tred not into any martiall action. Whereat the Spanyerdes beeinge mutch mooued, and hauinge not yet oportunity to woorke their will so co∣lourably as they wisshed, beestowed Page  [unnumbered] certayne Canon shot out of the saide Castle, and slew certayne innocent soules, with some other small harme and dammage done to the edifices: Thinking thereby to harden ye harts of the poore flemynges, and to make them take ues for theyr iust de∣fence: whiles they therby might take occasion to execute theyr vniust pre∣tence. And this was doone on the xix. or. xx. of October last.

Now to answere all obiections, I doubt not but it wilbee alledged, that the Castle beestowed the said Canon shot at ye Towne, because they of the Towne did not shote at the prince of Orenges Shippes, which lay within syght thereof: But alas it is easy to finde a staffe, when a man woulde beate a dogge.

For the truth is, that those Ships did no greater hurt, either to ye towne or Castle, then frendly to waft vp al manner of Grayne and victualles, for Page  [unnumbered] the sustenance of ye said towne: which euen then began to want sutch proui∣sion, by reason that the sayde Spa∣nyerds had builte a Forte on Flaun∣ders syde vpon the same Riuer: And thereby stopped all sutch as brought Uictuall to the sayd Towne: bur∣nynge and destroyinge the countrie neare adioynyng, and vsynge all ter∣rour to the poore people, to the intent yt ANTWERPE might lack prouision.

And about the same time also the Spanierds cut of a Brydge, which was the open passage beetween Ant∣werpe and Machlen, at a village called Walem. A manifest proofe of their playne intent to distresse ye sayd town, and to shut vp the same from all the rest of Brabant. Since they were wal∣led in with the Riuer on the one syde, and on that other the Spanish horse men occupied all the countrie, and so terrified ye poore people as they durst not bring theyr cōmodities to ye same. Page  [unnumbered] All this notwithstandynge, the chiefe rulers of the sayde Towne of Ant∣werpe, appeased the people and put vp these iniuries vntill they might bee better able to redresse them. Soone after the Spanierdes (assysted by the treason of certaine high Duches) entred the towne of Maestrecht vpon a sodeyne, and put the same to sacke: killynge, and destroying great num∣bers of innocēt people therin: a thing to be noted. For that Maestrecht had ne∣uer reuolted, but stoode quiet vnder their garisons as faithfull subiectes to the kinge. And the one halfe therof perteyned also vnto ye bishop of Liege, who had yet medled nothing at all in these actions. The cheife rulers and people of Antwerpe perceiuing therby the cruell entent of the Spanyerds, and doubtinge their Dutche garyson which was of the Counte Euersteines regiment (as they were also which betrayed Maestricht,) beegan to aban∣don Page  [unnumbered] the towne, leauyng their houses & goods beehinde them: and sought to withdraw themselues into some place of safer abode. Whereat the e∣states veynge mooued with compas∣sion, and doubtynge that the towne would shortly bee left desolate, leuied a power of three thousand footemen, and eight hundreth, or one thousand horsemen, and sent the same vnder the cōduct of the Marquise d'Haurey, the yonge Counte d'Egmont, Mounser de Capres, Moūs. de Bersel, Moūs. de Goōnie, and other nobles & gentlemen to suc∣cour & defend the towne of Antwerpe, agaynst the cruell pretence of the sayd Spanierdes: And they came beefore the gates therof on Friday the second of this instante: at a Porte on the west or southwest syde thereof called Kybdoerporte: Wherat the Spanierds beeynge enraged, discharged sundrie shotte of greate Artillerie from the Castle, but to small purpose. At last Page  [unnumbered]Mouns. de Champaigne, who was gouer∣nour of the Towne: and the Counte d'Euersteine which was Colonel of the Garysone, demaunded of the States wherefore they approched the towne in sutch order: who answered yt they came to entre the same as freinds, & to entrenche & defend it from ye Spa¦nyerds: protesting furder, yt they wold offer no manner of violent domage or iniury to the persons or goods of any sutch as inhabited the same.

Hereupon ye sayd Moūs. d'Champaigne and Counte d'Euersteine went out vn∣to them and conferred more priuate∣ly together by the space of one houre, and returned into the towne leauing the estates power at a village called Burgherhout.

On the morrow beeing the third of this instant, they were permitted to enter, and came into the towne .xxi. ensignes of footemen, and .vi. cornets of horsemen. Immediatly after their Page  [unnumbered] entrie, ye inhabitantes brought them sackes of wooll and other sutch proui∣sion, wherwith thei aproched ye yeard or playne grounde which lieth beefore the Castle. And placing the same at thendes of fiue streets which lye opē vnto the sayd Castle yearde, entren∣ched vnder them with sutch expediciō that in lesse then fyue howers, those streetes endes, were all reasonably well fortified from the Castle for any sodaine. At this time and. xii. dayes beefore I was in the sayde towne of Antwerpe vpon certeine priuate affai∣res of myne owne: so that I was enforced to become an eyed witnes of their entry and all that they did. As also afterwards (for all ye gates were kept fast shut & I could not departe) to beeholde the pittifull stratageme which folowed. The Castle thondred with shot at the towne: but it was a very mysty day, so that they could nei∣ther finde their markes very wel, nor Page  [unnumbered] yet see how the streetes endes were entrenched. It was a straunge thing to se the willingnes of ye inhabitants, and how soone many hands had dis∣patched a very great peece of worke: for beefore midnight they had made the trenches as highe as the length of a pike: and had begun one trenche for a Counterskarfe between al those streets & the Castle yearde: the which they perfected vnto the halfe way frō S. Georges Churchyearde vnto the waters side by S. Michels, & there left from worke, meaning to haue per∣fected it the next day. That Counter∣skarfe had been to mutch purpose if it had been finished, as shall appeare by a Model of the whole place, which I haue annexed to thend of this treaty: by view wherof ye skilfull reader may playnly perceiue thexecution of euery perticularitie. These thinges thus be∣gonne & set in forwardnes, it is to bee noted that the Spanyerds (hauing Page  [unnumbered] intelligence of the states power when it set forwards from Bruxelles: and per ceuing that it bent towards Antwerpe) had sent to Maestricht, Liere, and Aelst, to drawe all the power yt could be made vnto the Castle of Antwerpe.

So yt on Sunday, the fourth of this instant in the mornyng, they al met at ye sayd Castle. And theyr powers (as farre as I could gather) were these.

There came from Maestricht very neare to a thousand horsemen, led by Dom Alonso de Vergas, who is the gene∣rall of the horsemen: & fyue hundreth footemen or more, gouerned by the Campemaster Francesco de Valdes.

There came from LIERE, fiue hun∣dreth footemen or more, gouerned by the Campemaster Iuliane de Romero.

There came from Aelst two thousād footemen, which were the same that rebelled for their pay & other vnreso∣nable demaūds immediatly after the winning of Zierickzee. These had none Page  [unnumbered] other conductour then their Electo (af∣ter the maner of sutch as mewtine & rebel) but were of sundry companies: as Dom Emanuels & others. Neuerthe∣lesse I haue ben so bould in ye Model as to set downe ye sayd Dom Emanuell for their leder: bothe because I think that (their mewtiny notwithstanding) he led them at ye exployte, and also be∣cause, he was slayn amongst them at their entrie. Thus the nwmbre of spa∣nierds was. iiii. M. or there aboutes, besides some help that thei had of thē garison within ye castle: And besides a M. high Almaynes, or more, whiche came from Maestricht, Lyere, and those partes. And were of three sundry re∣giments: viz. Charles Fuckers, Poelderuills and Froemsberghs: but they were led all by charles Fucker. So yt the whole force of ye Spanierds & their cōplices, was fiue. M. and vpwards: the which assē∣bled & met at ye castle, on ye said fourth day about. x. of ye clocke before dinner.

Page  [unnumbered]And (as I haue hearde credibly re∣ported) would neyther stay to refresh themselues (hauing marched all night and the day before) nor yet to conferre of any thing, but only of the order how they should issue and assaile, protesting and vowing neyther to eat nor drinke vntill they mighte eate and drinke at liberty and pleasure in ANTWERP: the which vowe they performed con∣trary to all mans reason and expecta∣cion. Their order of entry into ye Castle yarde, and of their approch to the tren∣ches, I did not see, for I could not get out of the town: neyther did I thinke it reasonable to be Hospes in aliena repub∣lica curiosus: Yet as I heard it rehear∣sed by sundry of them selues, I wil al∣so here rehearre it for a truth. The Horsemen and footemen, which came frō Maestrecht and Lyere, came through a village on the east syde of the town called Burgerhout, about ten of the clock before noone, as before sayd: The Go∣uernour Page  [unnumbered] and estates being thereof ad∣uertised, sente out presently parte of their Horsemen and Footemen to dis∣couer and take knowledge of them: But before they could issue out of the gates, the Spanyardes were passed on the Sonth west syde of the towne dyche, and entred at a gate which stā∣deth on the Counterscarfe of the castle yeard, called the Windmil porte: there entred the Horsemen, and al the foote∣men, sauing the high Almaynes, who marched round about the Castle, by a village called Keele and trayling their pikes on the ground after them, came in at a small Posterne on the Brayes by the Riuer, and on the east side of the Castle.

Those which came from Aelst, came through the sayd vyllage called Keele, and so through the Castle: issued out of the same at the fore gate, which stā∣deth toward the towne. Being thus passed, and entred into the Castleyard Page  [unnumbered] about eleuen of the clock, they of Aelst and of the Castle, cast themselues into foure Squadrones: they of Maestricht and Lyere, into two Squadrones: and their Horsemen into a trowpe behind them: and the high Almayns into one Squadrone, or Batallyon, by the ry∣uers side. Being thus ordered, and ap∣poyntment giuē where euery Squa∣drone should charge and indure, they cast of certayne loose shot, from euery Squadrone, and attacqued the scar∣mouch: the which continewed not one hower, before they drew their Squa∣drones so nere vnto the Counterscarfe and trenches, that they brake & char∣ged pell mell. The Castle had all this while, played at the Towne and tren∣ches, with thundring shot: But now vpon a signall geuen, ceased to shoote any more, for feare to hurt their owne men: wherin I noted their good order which wanted no direction, in their greatest furye. The Wallonnes, and Page  [unnumbered] Almaynes, which serued in the Tren∣ches defēded al this while very stout∣ly. And the Spanyerds with their Al∣maynes, contynewed the charge with such valure, that in fyne they won the Counterscarf, and presently scaled the Trenches, with great fury. The Wal∣lonnes and Almaines hauing long re∣systed without any fresh reliefe or sup∣plye (many of them in this mene while being slayne and hurte) were not able any lōger to repulse the Spanyerds: so that they entred the trenches about twelue of the clock, and presently pur∣sued their victory down euery streate. In their chase, as faste as they gained any crosse streate, they flāked the same with their Musquets, vntill they saw no longer resistance of any power: and then proceeded in chase, executing all such as they ouertooke. In this good order they charged and entred: in this good order they proceded: and in as good order their lackeyes and Pages Page  [unnumbered] followed with Firebrands, and wyld∣fyre, setting the houses on fyre, in eue∣ry place where their maysters had en∣tred. The Wallonnes and Almaynes, which were to defend the town being growen into some security, by reason that their Trenches were so high, as seemed inuincible: and lacking suffici∣ent Generals & directors, were found as far out of order, as the Spanyerds were to be honored for the good order and direction which they kepte. For those which came to supplye & relieue the trēches, came stragling and loose: some came from the furdest side of the towne: some that were nearer came very fearefully: and many out of their lodginges, from drinking and carou∣sing: who would scarsely beleeue that any conflicte was begonne, when the Spanyerdes nowe mette them in the streates to put them out of doubt that they dallyed not. To conclude, their carelesnesse and lack of foresyght was Page  [unnumbered] such that they had neuer a Corps du gard to supply and relieue their trēches, but only one in ye market place of the town whiche was a good quarter of a myle from their fortifycations: and that also was of Almaynes, who (when they spied the Spanyerds) did gently kneele down letting their Pykes fall, and crying Oh lieue Spaniarden, lieue Spa∣niarden. Now I haue set downe the order of their entrye, approch, charge, and assaulte: together with their pro∣ceeding in victory: and that by credible report, both of the Spanyerdes them selues, and of others who serued in their company: let me also say a litle of that which I sawe executed. I was lodged in the Englishe house vt supra, and had not gone abroade that mor∣ning by reason of weighty businesse which I had in hand the same day. At dinner tyme the Marchauntemen of my Countrey whiche came out of the towne, and dined in my chamber, told Page  [unnumbered] me that a hote scarmouch was begon in the Castleyeard, and that the furye thereof stil increased. Aboute the mid∣dest of dinner, newes came that the shot was so thick, as neyther ground, houses, nor people could be discearned for the smoke thereof: and before din∣ner were fully ended, that the Spani∣ardes were like to win the trenches. Whereat I stept from the table, and went hastily vp into a high Tower of the sayd English house: from whence I might discouer fyre in fower or fiue places of the towne, towardes the Castleyeard: and thereby I was wel assured that the Spanyerds in deede were entred within the Trenches. So that I came down and tooke my cloake and sword, to see the certainty thereof, and as I passed toward the Bource, I met many, but I ouertoke none: And those which I mette were no Townsmen, but Souldyeres: nei∣ther walked they as men which vse Page  [unnumbered] traffique, but ran as men whiche are in feare: Wherat being somwhat gre∣ued, and seeing the townsemen stand euery man before his doore with such weapons as they had, I demaunded of one of them, what it mente? Who aunswered me in these wordes, Helas mounsieur, il ny a poynt de ordre, & voila la ruine de ceste ville. Aiez courage mon amy (quoth I,) and so went onwardes yet towards the Bowrce, meeting all the way more & more which mended their pace. At last, a Wallon Trompeter on horsback (who seemed to be but a Boy of yeres) drew his sworde, and layd a∣bout him crying, Ou est que vous eufuiez canaille? faisons teste pour le honeur de la pa∣trie. Wherewith, fyfty or three score of them turned head, and wente backe∣wardes towardes the Bource. The which encouraged mee (per companie) to proceede: But alas, this comforte indured but a while: For by that time I came on the farder syde of the Page  [unnumbered] Bource, I might see a great trowpe comming in greater haste, with their heads as close togeather, as a skoule of yong frye, or a flocke of Sheepe: Who met me on the farder side of the Bource, toward the market place: And hauing their leaders formost (for I knewe them by their Iauelines, Borespeares, and Staues) bare me ouer backwardes, and ran ouer my belly and my face, long time before I could recouer on foote. At last when I was vp, I looked on euery syde, and seeing them ronne so fast, began thus to bethinke me. What in Gods name doe I heare which haue no in∣terest in this action? synce they who came to defend this town are content to leaue it at large, and shift for them∣selues: And whilest I stoode thus musing, another flocke of flyers came so fast that they bare me on my nose, and ran as many ouer my backe, as erst had marched ouer my guttes. In Page  [unnumbered] fine, I gotte vp like a tall fellow, and wente with them for company: but their haste was such, as I could neuer ouertake thē, vntil I came at a broad crosse streate which lyeth betweene the English house & the sayd Eource: there I ouertooke some of thē groue∣ling on the ground, and groning for the last gaspe, and some other which turned backwards to auoyd the tick∣ling of the spanishe Musquets: who had gotten the ends of the sayd broad crosse streate, and flanked it both wayes: And there I stayde a whyle till hearing the shot increase, and fea∣ring to bee surprysed wyth suche as mighte follow in tayle of vs, I gaue aduenture to passe through the sayde crossestreate, and (without vaunte be it spoken) passed through fiue hundred shotte, before I could recouer the En∣glish house.

At my comming thether, I founde many of the Marchuntes standing Page  [unnumbered] before the gate: Whom I would not discomforte nor dismay, but sayd that the Spanyerdes had once entred the towne, and that I hoped they were gone backe agayne: Neuerthelesse I wente to the Gouernour, and priuily perswaded him to drawe in the com∣pany and to shut vp the gates: The which he consented vnto, and desyred me because I was somewhat better acquaynted with such matters then the Marchauntes, to take charge of the Key: I tooke it willingly, but be∣fore I coulde well shut and barre the gates, the Spanyardes were nowe come forewards into the same streat: And passing by ye doore, called to come in? bestowing fyue or sixe Musquette shotte at the grate where I aunswe∣red them, whereof one came very neare my nose, and pearcing thorowe the gate, strake one of the Marchants on the head, without any greate or daungerous hurt: but the heate of the Page  [unnumbered] pursute was yet such, that they coulde not attend the spoyle, but passed on in chase to the new towne: where they slew infinite nombers of people: And by three of the clocke, or before retour∣ned victors, hauing slayne or put to slight all their ennemies. And nowe to keepe promise, and to speake wyth∣out parciality: I must needs confesse, that it was the greatest victory, and the roūdlyest executed, that hath bene seene, red, or heard of, in our age: and that it was a thing myraculous, to cō∣sider, how Trenches of such a height should be entred, passed ouer, and won both by Footemen, and Horsmen: For immediately after that the Footemen were gotten in, the Horsemen founde meanes to follow: and being many of them harquebuziers on horseback, did passe by their owne Footemen in the streates, and much hastened both the flight of the Wallones, and made the Page  [unnumbered] way opener vnto speedy execution.

But whosoeuer wil therein most ex∣toll the Spanyardes for their vallure and order, must therewithall confesse that it was the very ordinance of god for a iust plague and scourge vnto the Towne: For otherwise it passeth all mens capacity, to conceiue howe it should be possible. And yet the disorder and lacke of foresight in the Wallons did great helpe to augment the Spa∣nish glory and boast. To conclude, the County de Euersteine was drowned in the newe Towne: the Marquise de Haurcy and Champaigne escaped out of the sayd new Towne, and recouered the Prince of Orenges shippes: only the yong Counte de Egmont was taken fighting by S. Myghels. Mouns. de ca∣pres, & Mouns. de Goonie: were also takē: but I heard of none that fought stout∣ly, sauing onely ye said Counte de Egmōt, whom the Colonel Verdugo, a spanyard Page  [unnumbered] of an honorable compassion and good mind, did saue with great daunger to himself in defending the Counte. In this conflicte there were slayne sixe hundred Spanyerds or thereaboutes: And on the Thursday next folowing, a view of the dead bodies in the town being takē: it was esteemed at. 17000 men, women, and children. A pittifull massacre though God gaue victory to the Spanyerdes. And surely, as their vallyaunce was to be much commen∣ded, so yet I can much discommende their barbarous cruelty, in many re∣spectes: For me thinkes, that as when God geueth abundaunce of welth, the owner oughte yet to haue regarde on whome he bestow it: euen so, when God geueth a great and myraculous victory, the cōquerours ought to haue great regard vnto their execution: and though some, which fauour the Spa∣nish faction, will aleadge sundry rea∣sons Page  [unnumbered] to the contrary: yet when the blood is cold, and the fury ouer, me thinkes that a true christian hearte should stand content with victory, and refrayne to prouoke Gods wrath by sheadding of innocente blood. These things I rehearce (the rather) because they neither spared age, nor sexe: time nor place: person nor countrey: professi∣on nor religion: yong nor olde: rich nor poore: strong nor feeble: but without a∣ny mercy, did tyrannously tryumphe when there was neither man nor meane to resist them: For age and sex, yong and old, they slew great nnm∣bers of yong children, but many moe womē more then fowerscore yeares of age: For time and place, their furye was as great ten dayes after the vic∣tory, as at the tyme of their entry: and as great respect they had to the church and churchyeard, (for all their hipocri∣ticall boasting of the catholique religi∣on) Page  [unnumbered] as the Butcher hath to his sham∣bles or slaughter house: For persō and Country, they spared neither friende nor foe: Portingal nor Turke: for pro∣fession and religion, the Iesuites must geue their ready coyne: and all other religious houses both cyne and plate with all shorte endes that were good and portable. The ryche was spoyled because he had: & the poore were han∣ged because they had nothing: neither strength could preuayle to make resy∣staunce, nor weakenesse moue pitty to refrayne their horrible cruelty. And this was not onely done when the chase was hotte, but (as I earst sayd) when the blood was colde, and they now victors without resystaunce. I refrayne to rehearce the heapes of deade Carcases whiche laye at euery Trench where they entred: the thick∣nesse whereof, did in many places ex∣ceede the height of a man.

Page  [unnumbered]I forbeare also to recount the huge nombers, drowned in ye new Toune: where a man might behold as many sundry shapes and formes of mans motiō at time of death: as euer Mighel Angelo dyd portray in his tables of Doomes day. I list not to recken the infinite nombers of poore Almains, who lay burned in their armour: som thentrailes skorched out, & all the rest of the body free, some their head and shoulders burnt of: so that you might looke down into the bulk & brest and there take an Anatomy of the secrets of nature. Some standing vppon their waste, being burnte of by the thighes: & some no more but the very toppe of the brain taken of with fyre, whiles the rest of the body dyd abide vnspeakable tormentes. I set not downe the ougly & filthy polluting of euery streete with the gore and car∣cases of men and horses: neither doo I complaine, that the one lacked bu∣ryall, Page  [unnumbered] and the other fleing, vntyl the ayre (corrupted with theyr caryon) enfected all that yet remained alyue in the Towne: And why should I de∣scribe the particularitie of euery such anoiance, as commonly happen both in campes & Castels, where martiall feates are managed? But I may not passe ouer with sylence, the wylfull burning and destroying of the stately Towne house, & all the monuments and records of the Citie: neither can I refraine to tel their shamful rapes & outragious forces presented vnto sundry honest Dames & Uirgins. It is a thing too horrible to rehearse, that the Father and Mother were forced to fetche their yong daughter out of a cloyster (who had thether fled as vnto Sanctuary, to keepe her bo∣dy vndefyled) & to bestowe her in bed betweene two Spaniards, to worke their wicked and detestable wil with her.

Page  [unnumbered]It is also a ruthfull remembrance, that a poore English marchant (who was but a seruaunt) hauing once re∣deemed his Masters goods for three hundreth crownes, was yet hanged vntyl he were halfe dead, because he had not two hundreth more to geue them: and ye halter being cut downe, and he commen to him selfe againe, besought them on knees with bytter teares, to geue him leaue to seeke & trye his creditte and friendes in the Towne, for the rest of theyr vnreaso∣nable demaund. At his returne be∣cause he sped not (as indeede no mo∣ney was then to bee had) they hong him again outright: and afterwards (of exceeding curtesie) procured the Friars Minors to burie him.

To conclude, of the seuentene thou∣sande carcases, which were viewed on the Thursday, I thinke in consci∣ence, that fiue thousand or fewe lesse, were massacred after their victorye, Page  [unnumbered] because they had not readye money, wherewith to raunsome theyr goods at such prices as they pleased to set on them: At least all the world wyll beare mee witnes, that ten (yea twenty dayes) after, whosoeuer were but poynted at, and named to bee a Wallon, was immediatlye massacred without furder audience or tryall. For mine owne part, it is wel known that I did oftē escape very narrow∣ly, because I was taken for a Wal∣lone. And on Sunday, the eleuenth of this instāt (which was the day be∣fore I gat out of the Towne) I saw three poore soules murdered in my presence, because they were poynted to be Wallons: and it was well pro∣ued immediatly that one of thē was a poore artyficer, who had dwelt in the Towne eight yeares before, & neuer managed armes, but truely folowed his occupatiō: Furthermore the seede of these and other barbarous factes Page  [unnumbered] brought forth this crop & fruite: that within three daies Antwarpe, which was one of the rychest Townes in Europe, had now no money nor trea∣sure to be found therein, but onely in the hands of murderers and strom∣pets: for euery Dom Diego must walk ietting vp & downe the streetes with his harlotte by him in her cheine and bracelettes of golde. And the notable Bowrce which was wont to be a safe assemblie for Marchaunts, and men of all honest trades, had nowe none other marchaundize therein, but as many dycing tables as might be pla∣ced round about it al the day long.

Men wyll boast of the Spanierds that they are the best & most orderlye Souldiours in the world: but sure, if this be their order, I had rather be coumpted a Besoigner, then a braue Souldiour in such a bande: neither must wee thinke (although it hath pleased God for some secreete cause Page  [unnumbered] only knowne to his diuine Maiestie, to yeelde Antwarpe and Maestrecht, thus into their handes) that he wyll spare to punish this theyr outragi∣ous crueltie, when his good wyl and pleasure shall be to doo the same: for sutely their boasting and bragging of iniquitie, is ouer great to escape long vnskorged.

I haue talked with sundry of them, and demaunded why they would cō∣maund that the Townehouse should be burned? And their aunswer was, because it was the place of assembly where all euyll counselles were con∣triued. As though it were iust that the stockes & stones should suffer for the offence of men. But such is their obstynate pride and arrogancie, that if they might haue their wyll, they woulde altogether raze & destroy the Townes, vntyll no one stone were left vppon another. Neither doeth their stubborne blindnes suffer them Page  [unnumbered] to perceiue yt in so doing they should much endomage the King their Ma∣ster, whome they boast so faithfully to honour, serue and obey.

As for the iniuries done by them vnto our owne nation particularlie, I wyll thus set downe asmuch as I knowe. We were quiet in the house appointed for the mansion of Eng∣lish Marchaunts vnder safe conduct, protectiō and Placard of their King: hauing neither medled any waye in these actions, nor by any meanes as∣sisted the estats of the countrey with money, munition, or any kinde of ayde. Yea the Gouernor and Mar∣chauntes (foreseeing the daunger of the tyme) had often demaunded pas∣porte of the Kinges gouernours and officers to depart.

And all these with sundrie other allegations, wee propounded and protested vnto them before they en∣tred the English house: desiring to be Page  [unnumbered] there protected according to our pri∣uiledges and graunts from the King their Maister. And that they would suffer vs there to remaine free from all outrage, spoile or raunsome, vntill wee might make our estate knowne vnto the Castellane, and other head officers which serued there for ye sayd King. All which notwitstanding, they threatned to fyre the house, vn∣lesse we would open the doores: and being once suffred to enter, demaun∣ded presently the raunsom of twelue thousande crownes of the Gouernor: Which summe, being not in deede in the house, neyther yet one third part of the same: they spared not with na∣ked swordes and daggers to menace the sayde Gouernour, and violently to present him death because he had not wherwith to content theyr gree∣die mindes. I wyll not boast of any helpe afforded by me in that distresse: but I thanke the Lorde God, who Page  [unnumbered] made mee an instrument to appease their deuillsh furies. And I thinke that the Gouernour and al the com∣pany wyll confesse that I vsed mine vttermost skyll and ayde for the safe∣garde of theyr lyues, aswell as mine owne.

But in the ende, all eloquence not∣withstanding, the Gouernour being a comlie aged Man, and a per∣sonne, whose hoarie heaires might moue pittie, and procure reuerence in any good minde, (especiallye the vprightnesse of his dealing conside∣red) they enforced him with great danger to bring forth all the money, plate, and iewelles, which was in the house: & to prepare the remnant of twelue thousand crownes, at such dayes, and tymes as they pleased to appoynt. And of the rest of our Na∣tion, which had their goodes remai∣ning in their seuerall packehouses, & lodgings elsewhere in the Towne. Page  [unnumbered] they tooke such pitty, that fowre they slewe, and diuerse other they most cruelly & daungerously hurt: spoy∣ling and raunsoming them to the vt∣termost vallewe that might be made or esteemed of all their goodes. Yea, some one they enforced to raunsome his goodes twise, yea thrise: and all that notwithstanding, tooke the sayd goodes violentlye from them at the last.

And al these iniuries being opened vnto their chiefe Gouernors in time conuenient, & whyles yet the whole summe set for seuerall raunsomes of our countreymen and the Englishe house in generall, were not halfe paide: so that iustice and good order might partly haue quallified the for∣mer rygors proffered by the Souldi∣ours, the sayde gouernours were as slowe and deafe, as the other were quicke and light of hearing to finde the bottome of euerie bagge in the Page  [unnumbered] Towne. So yt it seemeth they were fullye agreed in all thinges: or if any contention were, the same was but stryfe who or which of them might do greatest wrongs. Keeping the sayd Gouernor & Marchaunts there styl (without graunt of passeport or safe∣conducte) when there is scarcely any bittualles to bee had for any money in the Towne, nor yet the sayd mar∣chaunts haue any money to buye it, where it is. And as for creditte, nei∣ther creditte nor pawne can nowe finde coyne in Antwarpe. In these distresses I lefte them the twelfth of this instant Nouember 1576. when I parted from them, not as one who was hastie to leaue and abandone them in such miserye, but to solycite their ruefull causes here: and to de∣lyuer the same vnto her Maiestie and councell in such sort as I beheld it there.

And this is in effecte the whole Page  [unnumbered] trueth of the sacking and spoyle of so famous a Towne. Wherein is to be noated, that the Spanyerdes and their faction, being but syue thou∣sande, the trenches made againste them of suche height as seemed in∣uincible: the power within ye Towne fifeteene or sixteene thousand able fighting men well armed, (I meane the Townesmen ready armed being coumpted:) it was charged, entred, & wonne in three howres. And before sixe howers passed ouer, euery house therein sacked or raunsomed at the vttermost vallew.

The which victory being miracu∣lous and past mans capacitie, to cō∣prehend how it should be possible, I must needs attribute vnto Gods iust wrath powred vpon the inhabitants for their iniquitie, more then to the manhoode and force of the Spany∣erdes: and yet I meane not to robbe them of their deserued glorie, but to Page  [unnumbered] confesse that both their order & val∣lure in charging and entring was famous: And had they kept halfe so good order, or shewed the tenth part of such manly corage, in vsing theyr victory, and parting of their spoyle: I must then needes haue sayde that Caesar him selfe had neuer any suche souldiours. And this must I needs say for them, that as theyr continual training in seruice doth make them expert in all warrelyke stratageme: so their daily trade in spoiling hath made them the cunningest ransac∣kers of houses, and the best able to bring a spoyle vnto a quicke market, of any Souldiors, or Mastertheeues that euer I heard of.

But I leaue the skanning of theyr deedes vnto God, who wyll bryddle theyr insolencie, when hee thinketh good and conuenient: And let vs al∣so learne out of this rewfull tragedie to detest & auoyde those synnes, and Page  [unnumbered] prowde enormyties, which caused the wrath of God to be so furiouslye kindled and bent against the Towne of Antwerpe: let vs also (if euer wee shoulde be driuen to lyke occasion,) (which God forbidde) learne to looke better about vs for good order & dy∣rection, the lacke whereof was theyr ouerthrow. For surely the inhaby∣tantes lacked but good guides and leaders: for hauing none other order appointed, but to stande euerye man armed in readynes before his doore, they dyed there (many of them) figh∣ting manfully, when the Walloners and high Duches fled beastly. Let vs also learne to detest the horrible cru∣elties of the exe∣cutions in all exe∣cutions of warlike stratagemes, least the dishonour of such beastly deedes, might bedymme the honour where∣with Englishe Souldiours haue al∣wayes bene endowed in theyr victo∣ries. And fynally let vs praye to God Page  [unnumbered] for grace to amend our lyues, and for power and foresyght to withstande the mallyce of our enemyes: that remayning and continewing in the peaceable protection of our most gra∣tious Soueraigne, we maye geue him the glory, and all due and loy∣all obedience vnto her Maiestie, whome God nowe and euer prospere and preserue.

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